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06.05.2017 - 10: 22

The Syrian army. Military power and converting

In the spring of 2011, protests and anti-government protests began in Syria, which in just a few months grew into open clashes. The result of these events was the outbreak of civil war, which continues to this day. The interests of the country's legitimate authorities in this conflict are defended by the armed forces of Syria. In addition, from a certain time, the army is assisted by various domestic and foreign armed groups. The existing potential, as well as assistance from friendly states allow Damascus to restrain the pressure of numerous enemy groups, and from time to time to win.

For a long time the civil war in Syria has turned into a confrontation between a large number of paramilitary organizations, armed groups, terrorist organizations, etc. As a consequence, a variety of structures can fight in different parts of the country to each other. So, on the Damascus side fighting the Syrian army, some of the militias and the military organization of Iran and Iraq. Considerable support the Lebanese organization "Hezbollah" and other groups in the region. Since the autumn of the year 2015 the Syrian army to help aerospace forces of Russia.


Syrian arrows on post

In difficult conditions, the ongoing civil war, the Syrian army was forced to make some reforms that have affected its structure. As a result, we have undergone significant changes and now meet the requirements more fully Syrian armed forces for several years. At the same time, however, certain problems of all kinds. Consider the current state of the Syrian army.

The basis of the Syrian armed forces, as previously, and are now the Army. Before the civil war, they observed some interesting trends. The basis of the army have been mechanized and armored divisions in the number 11 units. There were also two divisions of special forces. Light infantry units present in minor amounts, resulting in the corresponding consequences in terms of strategy.

Before the war in the Syrian army served about 325 thousand people. In military operations, the armed forces suffered significant irrecoverable losses. In addition, a certain part of the personnel deserted, including by joining the enemy formations. The result was a noticeable reduction in the size of the army. At present, there are no more than 130-135 thousand people in the army. Such a reduction of the army, however, was compensated to some extent by the creation of new volunteer organizations. With their help, it was possible to increase the number of infantry formations and, at least partially, to restore the previously available potential.


Tanks T-72 without any modification

The reduction of personnel and the loss of numerous military technology eventually led to a change in the structure of the army. Currently, as part of the Army has 6 armored divisions with a different composition, 4 2 mechanized divisions and infantry brigades. Also, the army has 2 2 artillery brigades and brigades, armed with anti-aircraft missile systems. Operational-tactical missile systems in service with the two respective teams.

A characteristic feature of the current conflict is the inability to determine the exact qualitative and quantitative composition of the fleet and the arms. Over the past six years, the Syrian army has lost a significant amount of material part: it was destroyed in the fighting or getting any enemy as a trophy. In addition, some samples changed owners several times. As a result, now you can only talk about the types of weapons / equipment, but not their number.

The armored divisions are equipped with Soviet or Russian production of various types. In the tank still remain tanks of various modifications of the family T-55. Also there are a little more new T-62. Thanks to Russian aid, Syria operates a significant number of T-72 tanks of various modifications and even relatively new T-90. At the disposal of mechanized connections are infantry fighting vehicles BMP-1 / 2 and armored personnel carriers of almost all models of Soviet and Russian production. Auxiliary equipment, such as repair and evacuation and command staff cars, demining facilities, etc. also have a Soviet / Russian origin.


One option artisanal modernization of armored vehicles

Similarly, things are in artillery units. The army has self-propelled artillery systems of various types in caliber from 57 to 152 mm. Part of this technique is a serial production of foreign production, while other machines were made in handicraft conditions from available equipment. Self-propelled chassis mounted as cannons or howitzers, and mortars. At the same time, a large number of various towed systems are preserved. Reactive artillery is mainly represented by Soviet and Russian systems. There are combat vehicles of various types, from BM-21 "Grad" to 9A52 "Smerch". The towed launchers "Type 63" of Chinese production were widely used. In addition, the army and loyal to Damascus formations are actively using the Vulkan family of MLRS, created already during the war.

Armed with two separate teams consist tactical missiles of several types. Syria still maintains legacy systems, such as the P-300, but there are newer complexes "Point". Also on the system is armed "Fateh" of Iranian production.

With the help of Russian supply infantry units were able to significantly upgrade the arsenals of antitank weapons. Obsolete ATRA 9P133 like "Baby" or 9P148 "Competition" in recent years, "Fagot" were supplemented complexes, "Metis", "Cornet", etc. For combating air targets infantry can use a portable anti-aircraft complexes of various models of family "Strela" and "Igla".


BMP-1 armed forces

The air defense of the ground forces has both missile and artillery systems in service. In addition, several years ago the operation of the combined missile and gun complexes "Pantsir-X1" began. The basis of military air defense in this case are complexes of the Buk family of different models. The SAM systems are complemented by self-propelled chassis and towed systems. Until now, self-propelled vehicles ZSU-23-4 and ZSU-57-2 are used. There is a certain number of towed systems with guns caliber from 23 to 100 mm. In connection with the specifics of the current conflict, anti-aircraft guns are used exclusively as a fire support means for the ground forces. For this, the existing cannons and machine guns in the initially towed performance are often mounted on the available chassis.

It should be noted that the construction of new models of military equipment of one or another purpose with the use of available units and products is one of the characteristic features of the ongoing war. Commercial or army cars become the base for "homemade" artillery self-propelled guns with barrel or jet weapons. Other equipment receives armor and armor, becoming infantry fighting vehicles. Serial models of armored combat vehicles receive additional protection, reducing the likelihood of defeat by common means. Certain features of this modernization of technology allow us to assume that in some cases it is carried out by some "serial" projects.

For obvious reasons, to determine the number and types of military equipment handicraft production is not possible. Accurate information on this subject is not published, but find it difficult to assess a variety of factors. For example, in the Syrian army has completely samples may be previously constructed enemy and taken as a trophy.


A well-known example of "technical creativity": self-propelled gun on the chassis of GAZ "Sadko", armed with gun ZIS-2

In accordance with current trends of armies, Syria has adopted drones several types. This technique is mainly made in Iran.

Due to the reduction in the strength of the army, official Damascus was forced to establish the National Defense Forces (NSO) at the beginning of 2013. The structure of this structure was adopted by various independent groups and organizations, loyal to the legitimate authorities. Soon, all comers were gathered in a single structure with the subordination of the so-called National Committees. By now, there are about 100 thousand fighters in the NSO. In order to increase the combat capability of individual units and all forces as a whole, experts from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are employed as consultants and instructors.

Also cooperate with government troops, some other volunteer formations - the so-called troops "Shabiha". Some of these organizations became part of the National Defense Forces, while others still retain some autonomy. According to various estimates, in the pro-government formations, outside the official structures, including up to 50 thousand. Man.


Launcher "Volcano" series on the chassis of the Russian manufacture.

Due to the specific characteristics of the civil war and the existing VAT restrictions "Shabiha", etc. mainly perform infantry functions, while operation of armored vehicles and other military vehicles remains a task for the military personnel. This approach has enabled compensate for the loss of personnel and raise the potential of the armed forces as a whole at an acceptable level.

Syrian Armed Forces have certain advantages over their enemies thanks to the preservation of the Air Force. In this form of the armed forces is no more than 15 thousand. Man, and of his personnel could be thrown on the solution of other combat missions, not involving the use of aircraft. The problem of the Syrian Air Force is a state of the art. According to various estimates, to make departures may be no more than 40% of aircraft and helicopters. In addition, regular losses further reduce the number of combat-ready machines.

According to reports, the Syrian Air Force have 4 Squadron, armed no more than 80 MiG-23 different modifications. This technique is used as fighters and fighter-bombers. The same number is armed squadron outdated Mig-21 in an amount 70-80 units. 5 armed squadron aircraft Su-22 (to 30-35) and Su-24 (not more 10-12). Fighter aircraft incorporates 2 Squadron, equipped with the MiG-29. Combat tasks can also be solved by helicopters Mi-25 and SA342L Gazelle.


Fighter-bomber MiG-23

Military transport aircraft has four squadrons, equipped with machinery of various types. At the disposal of the military, there are light passenger aircraft Dassault Falcon 20, and Yak-40, heavy transporters IL-76 and other types of equipment mainly of Soviet / Russian-built. Multipurpose helicopter Mi and Mi-8-17 equipped with six squadrons. Training of pilots is performed on the basis of a single squadron of aircraft L-39.

No more than 20 thousand. People listed in the defense forces. As part of this kind of troops before the war was 4 Division, armed with anti-aircraft missile systems S-75, 125-C and 2K12 "Cube". Furthermore, shelf 3 deployed using complexes C-200. Number of remaining in service systems, for obvious reasons, is unknown.

Syria maintains naval forces, but this branch of the armed forces is not actively involved in the war. In this regard, of 4 thousand. Soldiers of the fleet was transferred to the other troops to participate in combat. The navy Syria there are two patrol ships of the Soviet project 159, carrying artillery and torpedoes. It remains in operation for over two dozen Soviet missile boat construction and Iranian carrying missiles and P-15 C-802. There are also some light patrol boats.


Sukhoi Su-24

The Syrian navy has three landing craft project 770 with transportation to 5-6 180 tanks or fighters. Torpedo forces represented 7 three types of ships exclusively Soviet-built. There is a small group of multi-purpose vehicles and boats and ships.

Earlier, Syria has used its naval aviation, however, according to some reports, some time available helicopters are idle without work because all their tasks were assigned to the Russian crew. In the ranks of the machine remains 4 28-Ka and Mi 6-14.

Coastal troops have missiles of several types. From the Soviet Union and the Russian system were obtained previously with missiles P-15M and P-35, and the complex "Bastion". In service onshore version of missiles C-802 China.


Withdrawn from active service the Mi-14 naval aviation

It should be borne in mind that the Syrian armed forces are not the only party to the conflict acting on the side of a legitimate government. Official Damascus is also supported by the National Defense Forces, numerous factions that have not joined existing structures, etc. In addition, military experts and fighters of the Iranian IRGC, as well as other foreign organizations, are the most important participants in the conflict. A major role is played by the Russian grouping, represented, first of all, by the aerospace forces. Thus, certain successes of pro-government war participants are the result of the joint work of different structures and the proper coordination of their actions.

The civil war in Syria lasts about six years and, apparently, is still far from its completion. Some attempts are being made to settle the situation, ceasefire, etc., but they often face the desire of various parties to the conflict and even third countries to get their own benefits. In such conditions, the armed forces had to make a major change in their structure and rework strategy and tactics in accordance with the specifics of the conflict, threats and opportunities available. As a result, an updated army structure was created, generally meeting the requirements and being able to resist the enemy, although not spared from various problems.

A source: Military Review

Author: Ryabov Kirill

Tags: Syria, Army, War in the Middle East, Armament, Aircraft, Air Force, tanks, ships